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The Borrowers

The Borrowers


by Mary Norton

The Borrowers Chapter 19 Summary

  • "And that," says Mrs. May "is really the end" (19.1).
  • What? The end of the story? No way! It can't end that way.
  • Can it?
  • Well, sort of.
  • Mrs. May explains to Kate that "stories never really end. They can go on and on and on. It's just that sometimes, at a certain point, one stops telling them" (19.15).
  • Together, they finish the story by imagining how the policeman who comes the next day doesn't believe Mrs. Driver (it turns out the policeman is a young man named Ernie, who used to be bullied by Mrs. Driver in his youth).
  • He merely thinks she took a few too many sips from Great-Aunt Sophy's bottle of Madeira wine and was just imagining the little people.
  • It does sound kind of crazy when you think about it, doesn't it?
  • Mrs. Driver then gets a cat, but the cat "borrows" fish and bowls of egg sauce, instead of eating the borrowers. They have to get a dog to chase out the cat.
  • The mean old lady doesn't give up, though. She hires a rat-catcher named Rich William, a dangerous man also known as "the pig-killer" who has a "gun, a hatchet, a spade, a pickax, and a contraption with bellows for smoking things out" (19.41).
  • Uh-oh. Have the borrowers met their match?
  • Hardly. When Rich William tries to smoke the borrowers out using poisoned fumes, the boy escapes from his room, grabs a pickax, and bravely knocks a hole in the grating to give the borrowers some breathing room.
  • But are they safe and unharmed?

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